Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs , Versailles!

And back I take you to my beloved dear Versailles.  The de facto Capital of France! The royal and imperial city of France, my home for almost 10 glorious years! I like to take you into another off the beaten path site in my beloved city.

If you move out of the castle and come to know the city a bit more, you will learn not only world history but French history as well. I like to enlighten you into known a bit more on the Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs.

Paris

The Hotel des Menus Plaisirs is located at 22 Avenue de Paris in Versailles (Yvelines 78). It remained famous in the history of France for having welcomed the Assembly of the Notables of 1787, that of 1788 and above all the General Estates of 1789, the last that the former regime had experienced. It is an integral part of the history of France, and a must to visit even if today has other functions.

Versailles

A bit of history I like

This hotel was built on orders of king Louis XV around 1745, in order to house the decoration workshops and the equipment of the games related to the festivities of the King and the Court called “Menus-plaisirs”. It will include sports accessories (especially for jeu de paume play), theater sets, musical instruments.etc.. There are also workshops for models, costumes, paintings and other sculptures In 1759, the hotel also contains a physics office installed by Abbé Nollet for the instruction of the children of France, starting with the future Louis XVI. The architectural ensemble then revolves around two courses located at different levels. The lower court opens on No. 22, avenue de Paris, while the High Court is located at the level of No. 19 rue des Etats Géneraux. It was at the site of the latter court that a provisional room hosted a meeting of notables in 1787, then end 1788. On the inside, the sovereign is then installed under a canopy, located in front of the covered staircase which currently provides communication between the two courtyards. The three orders (nobles laymen ,and clerby) are seated separately in the stands arranged in horseshoes, while high grandstands greet the public.

It was in this room that the abolition of privileges was voted in 1789 and the Declaration of Human and Citizen Rights was made. The Hotel des Menus Plaisirs includes the election of Maximilian Robespierre as president of the District Court. The judges of the Criminal court settled there in 1792, waiting for the former bailiwick to be transformed into a house of justice. Thereafter, the hotel serves as a food store for the army, although many theater props are still kept on reserve, which also stirs up the lust of directors of Parisian halls who regularly come to used them.

Paris

Transformed into a barracks for the volunteers of the Gendarmerie (police) Corps, it became a center of distribution of bread for the troops before being finally sold to a certain   Dubusc in 1800. However, the prefect ordered the cancellation of the sale a year later, but already the damage is done: In the meantime, the buyer has unfortunately already demolished a large part of the historic premises including the famous room of the general Estates! . The hotel would then become a cavalry barracks, then be abandoned for more than a century until the city of Versailles installed its technical services in 1942. The State will restore these places as part of the celebrations of the bicentennial of the French revolution in 1989.

Napoleon turned the place into a conservatory of music. Under the restoration, it was tried to return to its first assignment, but without regaining the glow of the pre-revolution festivities. After the revolution of 1830, the Hotel des Menus-Plaisirs became a conservatory of music under the name of Royal School of Music and Declamation. Since 1996, part of the hotel is now home to the Baroque music Center of Versailles.

The remains of the Hall of the General Estates remain in the high courtyard used for the recess of the students of the Centre de Musique Baroque in Versailles. The pavements of the ground expose the layout of the hall, with the Royal Tribune at the bottom, the grandstands for the nobility and the clergy on the sides, the Great Tribune for the third-state in front which can be seen today.

Indeed a must for the lovers of architecture and history of France and the world really a must to see. Just come out of the palace on avenue de Paris and walk up the hotel is on the right hand side of the street and just a few minutes easily accessable. Enjoy it

A webpage to help you plan your trip and more info is here

Baroque music center on the Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs Versailles

Centre de Musique Baroque at the Chateau de Versailles webpage

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

One Comment to “Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs , Versailles!”

  1. I love Versailles, but never been to the hotel. I shall pencil in for future reference.

    Like

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